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Water Night

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iTunes Review

In contrast with the vocal emphasis of his Decca debut, Light & Gold, Eric Whitacre’s Water Night features both choral and orchestral pieces, presenting a fully rounded picture of the composer’s talents. Both melodic richness and minimalist rigor are captured here, drawing upon deep wells of classical tradition while achieving an emotional directness that’s very contemporary. Whitacre offers new (and likely definitive) versions of his previously recorded “Her Spirit Soars” (a billowing choral piece with a gorgeous ascending line) and “When David Heard” (matching a Biblical passage to a grandly unfolding melody). Premiering on this album are “Oculi Omnium” and “Alleluia,” a pair of choral works that combine angelic grace with earthly tenderness to stunning effect. The symphonic flourishes and galloping rhythm of “Equus” contrast with the luminous sweep of “Water Night” and the pastoral elegance of “The River Cam” (written for cellist Julian Lloyd Weber). Whitacre’s wife, Hila Plitmann, brings both strength and sweetness to her vocal performance in “Goodnight Moon.”

Customer Reviews

Get the album, folks!

Mr. Whitacre has done it again! Especially love October's adaption into "Alleluia." A well-rounded album with cool videos of Eric actually explaining each of the songs' backgrounds. A must have for Whitacre fans!

Good, but not the best of Whitacre ear candy.

I know Eric wants a bit more instrumental credibility, and I know I should be more open minded to what he and his musical colleagues offer, no matter what form it might be, but I must say it was a letdown to hear Water Night as an instrumental. Don't get me wrong, but it's a fantastic composition, regardless of its form, but it is simply over the top when done a capella. For this purpose, I simply picked up the a capella versions of Water Night and Cloud Burst peformed by the Brigham Young Singers (Thanks Itunes for making this available).

Anyway, this is a great album, though my decided preference is unaccopmanied voice, when hearing Whitacre's works. I say this coming from a formative musical background, emphasizing the instrumental domain (Holdsworth, Coltrane, Parker, Davis, Corea, various classical, and all the rest of that jazz).

Accordingly, I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Fantastic, but I wanted the core competency to come through, and that's when Eric's works are performed by a capella singing.

Stuff keeps getting better

I own all his albums and this is by far one of the best choral albums that will change the way we see and preform choral music.


Genre: Classical

Eric Whitacre is an American composer best known for his choral music. He has also written a large number of wind band compositions and some electronic music. In addition, he has composed works for orchestra and an opera, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. His style is quite approachable and features trademark chords (sevenths and ninths, sometimes heard against a background of sustained seconds and fourths), unexpected chord progressions, aleatoric elements, finger snapping by choral singers, and...
Full Bio
Water Night, Eric Whitacre
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2012

Customer Ratings